Place:Massanutten Settlement, Augusta, Virginia, United States

NameMassanutten Settlement
Located inAugusta, Virginia, United States     (1738 - 1753)
Also located inSpotsylvania, Virginia, United States     (1727 - 1734)
Orange, Virginia, United States     (1734 - 1738)
Frederick, Virginia, United States     (1753 - 1772)
Dunmore, Virginia, United States     (1772 - 1778)
Shenandoah, Virginia, United States     (1778 - 1831)
Page, Virginia, United States     (1831 - Present)


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Massanutten Settlement, Augusta County, Virginia

"Massanutten Mountain", (sometimes referred to as "Peaked Mountain" in many records), nestled against the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, is a synclinal ridge in the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, currently located in what is now Page County, Virginia. The mountain bisects the Shenandoah Valley just east of Strasburg in Shenandoah County in the north, to its highest peak east of Harrisonburg in Rockingham County in the south. Wikipedia

Massanutten was one of the early settlements in (then) Spotsylvania/Orange/Augusta County, Virginia, first established as early as 1727 or 1728 by Jost Hite, the great Shenandoah Valley Pioneer. Hite, with a number of relatives and friends, settled a few miles south of the Shawnee Spring (Winchester) in 1731. John Lewis and his followers founded Staunton in 1732. The names of the first Massanutten pioneers, are Adam Miller, Abram Strickler, Mathias Selzer, Philip Long, Paul Long (Philip's son), Michael Rinehart, John Rhodes, Michael Kauffman, and Jacob Stover. Their descendants are numerous and influential today in Massanutten land and adjacent regions of Page, Shenandoah, and Rockingham Counties, and many have gone afar to fame and fortune. Most or all of these pioneers were Germans who had first come to Pennsylvania or adjoining colonies; and as to religious affiliation they were chiefly Mennonites and Lutherans. They chose out fertile tracts along the winding Shenandoah and began to carve out busy homes in the wilderness.

Massanutten was an "old field" (prairie) that nestled in a great bend of the river (south branch of the Shenandoah), just east of the New Market Gap in the Massanutten Mountain. The mountain at that time was probably called "Buffalo Mountain" or "Peaked Mountain"; but the gap was known as Massanutten Gap. At any rate, in 1746, when Thomas Lewis and his colleagues surveyed the Fairfax Line, the mountain was called "Peaked Mountain," while "Massanutten" was the name applied to the gap. At that time Philip Long was living on a fine tract only a few miles above Massanutten, at a place now celebrated as "Old Fort Long"; and the surveyors of the Fairfax Line visited him repeatedly.

Today the Massanutten country may be readily located by the tourist who crosses the Massanutten Mountain between New Market and Luray on the splendid Lee Highway. Massanutten Creek intersects the road at the eastern foot of the mountain; and "Massanutten Heights," the historic old homestead on the bank beside the road, overlooks the actual Massanutten "old field" -- a homeland dear alike to red and white men, scene of romance and tragedy, theme of bard and chronicler. In 1924 Mr. Harry M. Strickler of Harrisonburg, Va., a descendant of one of the pioneers, published a most interesting book entitled "Massanutten," in which many particulars, both historical and genealogical, are collected. ["A History of Shenandoah County Virginia", Wayland].

First Families of Massanutten Settlement

Head of Family/Approximate Year of Land Acquisition at Massanutten Settlement

John Brubaker - 1735
Christian Clemon - 1735
Michael Cryter - 1737
Michael Kauffman - 1737
Paul Long - 1738
Philip Long - 1738
Adam Miller - 1741
John Rhodes - 1741
Michael Rinehart - 1739
Mathias Selzer - 1735
Henry Sowter - 1735
Ludwick Stone - 1735
Jacob Stover - 1730/33
Abraham Strickler - 1735

Other Later Settlers


"A History of the Valley of Virginia", by Samuel Kercheval (1833)
"Forerunners: A History or Genealogy of the Strickler Families Their Kith and Kin", by Harry M. Strickler (Harrisonburg, Virginia: 1925)
"A History of Shenandoah County Virginia", by John W. Wayland (1998)